David Anderson, a senior director of national programs and outreach at Child Mind Institute in New York, has a refreshing take: The problem is not that phones are inherently unsafe, it’s that “they displace some of the things that are really important for any child’s development.” he says. A child ready for a phone should already have other habits and support systems in place, he says: good school performance, a steady homework record, extracurriculars, face-to-face interaction with friends, plenty of family time without screens, plenty of non-screen-based activities and a healthy sleep routine.